There are various opinions on how much water to drink a day. We know that health professionals recommend drinking enough water, especially when exercising or during hot weather conditions.
how much water should I drink a day?
The basic recommendation of health authorities is at least eight 8 ounce glasses that is equivalent to half a gallon. However, other health professionals recommend sipping water constantly throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
According to the Institute of Medicine, men should drink more water which is at least 13 cups, while 9 cups of water for women.
How Much Water You Supposed to Drink a Day?
The 8×8 rule is the basic recommendation, but it’s not well-researched details. Sixty percent of the body’s weight is water and each part and system of the body requires water to function well.
There are different factors to consider when determining the right water intake including age, sex, level of activity, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.
The recommended water intake for adults 19 years old and above is 2.7 liters and 3.7 liters for women and men respectively (1). This is the overall amount of fluid intake a day that includes anything that you consume containing water.
The recommended amount of water intake for kids greatly depends on age. Boys and girls within the age range of 4 and 8 years should drink at least 5 cups a day. Between 9 to 13 years old, the water intake must be 7 to 8 cups, and 8 to 11 cups for those 14 to 18 years old.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women
Pregnant and breastfeeding women have a different recommendation. Pregnant women should drink about 80 ounces of water a day while breastfeeding women must consume 104 ounces a day (2).
Other considerations have varying recommendations. If you’re doing exercise for longer hours, you should add about 2.5 cups of water to the 8×8 rule.
People living in places where a hot climate prevails and elevated places more than 8,200 feet above sea level should increase the amount of water intake more than the basic recommendation.
When a person suffers from vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, most likely the body experiences more fluid loss than usual that’s why it is suggested to drink more water or add beverages with electrolytes to replenish the lost electrolytes from your body.
|Daily recommended amount of water (from drinks)
|children 4 to 8 years old
|5 cups, or 40 total ounces
|children 9 to 13 years old
|7 to 8 cups, or 56 to 64 total ounces
|children 14 to 18 years old
|8 to 11 cups, or 64 to 88 total ounces
|men, 19 years and older
|13 cups, or 104 total ounces
|women, 19 years and older
|9 cups, or 72 total ounces
|10 cups, or 80 total ounces
|13 cups, or 104 total ounces
How Would You Know if You’re Getting Enough Water?
Your body manifests clear signs if you’re not getting enough water such as a headache, dizziness, and dry mouth. Likewise, the color of the urine and the frequency of urination can also explain if you’re well hydrated.
Drinking enough amount of water is important not only for the body and its organs to function properly but there are also for other health benefits such as:
- Drinking water keeps the body temperature within the normal range.
- It cushions and lubricates the joints as well as protects the spine and other tissues.
- It helps smooth the elimination of waste products through bowel movement, sweat, and urine.
- It keeps the skin looking healthy.
- Water is zero-calorie that’s why it is effective for weight management.
The Risks of Drinking Too Much and Too Little Water
Our brain has the so-called thirst control center that regulates water intake. It sends a signal to the brain to stop feeling thirsty once you drink water and before it absorbs into the bloodstream. When you drink too much water, it overrides the thirst control center.
Can you drink too much water? Drinking too much water could lead to hyponatremia which is dangerous to your health. The electrolytes in the blood become diluted with the extra water thus may result in to decrease in sodium levels. Symptoms of hyponatremia include:
- Vomiting or nausea
- Muscle cramps, spasms, or weakness
It is uncommon to develop hyponatremia, but children and those with a smaller build are at higher risk as well as those active people. To prevent this condition, it is important to drink a sports drink that contains electrolytes and sodium.
On the other hand, if you’re consuming too little amount of water, your body will be at a high risk of dehydration. Keep in mind that your body loses fluids through urine and sweat. Symptoms of dehydration include the following:
- Extreme thirst
- Seldom urination
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Lack of tears
Dehydration may lead to mood changes, constipation, confusion, shock, and kidney stone formation. By drinking more water, mild dehydration can be prevented. But, in case of severe dehydration, you should seek immediate medical intervention such as intravenous fluids and salts.
Is 4 liters of water a day too much?
Whether or not 4 liters of water a day is too much depends on several factors, including your age, activity level, and overall health. The general recommendation for daily water intake is 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women. However, some people may need more or less water depending on their individual needs.
If you are generally healthy and active, drinking 4 liters of water a day is probably safe. However, if you have any underlying health conditions, such as kidney disease or heart failure, you should talk to your doctor before increasing your water intake.
If you are not used to drinking a lot of water, it is important to increase your intake gradually. Drinking too much water too quickly can lead to water intoxication, a serious condition that can cause seizures and even death.
How to drink 3 liters of water a day?
Drinking three liters of water a day can seem like a daunting task, but it can be easily achieved by making it a habit and incorporating it into your daily routine.
Here’s a sample schedule for drinking three liters of water a day:
- Morning: 500 ml
- Before lunch: 500 ml
- During lunch: 250 ml
- Afternoon snack: 250 ml
- Before dinner: 500 ml
- After dinner: 500 ml
Remember, everyone is different, and your individual water needs may vary. If you have any concerns about your water intake, talk to your doctor.
Maintaining the proper water balance is significant for us to live. That’s why it is important to know the right amount of water intake per day. You may feel thirsty when the total water content is below the normal level. As long as you depend on your thirst instinct, you can easily manage your water intake. Even the 8×8 rule follows the thirst commands.
You can also do self-experimentation because no one can tell how much water a person needs. The amount of water intake depends on the individual.
Aside from drinking water, you can also stay hydrated by consuming foods that have a higher content of water such as watermelon, green peppers, cucumbers, cauliflower, berries, celery, and radish.
To ensure that you’re drinking enough water, you should bring a water bottle wherever you go. Focus on fluids and it does not necessarily mean drinking plain water alone to suffice the hydration needs.
Add some zest to your water by adding lime juice or fresh lemon. If you dine out, drink water instead of other refreshments. You can also reduce the consumption of coffee because it contains caffeine which is known as a diuretic. Likewise, sugary drinks can increase blood sugar levels and calories, thus they should be avoided.
Keep things simple. Drink when you’re thirsty. Observe your body because everything is manifested and shown in the appearance of your body.
Janice Thompson is a wellness enthusiast with a passion for helping others lead healthy and fulfilling lives. With a background in nutrition and a love for cooking, Janice has dedicated her career to sharing tips and tricks for living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a balanced diet.